MSSU Student Awards


The Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit (MSSU) Student Awards provide financial support to high caliber research trainees engaged in patient-oriented health research at universities in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Patient-oriented health research is defined by CIHR as a continuum of research that engages patients as partners, focuses on patient-identified priorities and improves patient outcomes. This research, conducted by multidisciplinary teams in partnership with relevant stakeholders, aims to apply the knowledge generated to improve healthcare systems and practice. All students supported by this award must be supervised by an MSSU Associate Scientist. 

The Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation is hosting this call for proposals on behalf of the Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit. 


The objective of the MSSU Student Awards is to support the development of the next generation of health research leaders and highly qualified health researchers with expertise in patient-oriented research. 

Application Process
Review Process
Assessment Criteria
Resources and Assistance


Award Types

MSSU Student Awards are offered at two levels of study:

  • Master's
  • Doctoral


To apply for a MSSU Student Award, the applicant must meet the following criteria at the time of application:

Doctoral Level Awards

  • Have applied to, be accepted in, or, be enrolled in Year 1, 2 or 3 of a full-time thesis-based Doctoral degree program at a participating university in Nova Scotia or Prince Edward Island.

Master's Level Awards

  • Have applied to, be accepted in, or be enrolled in Year 1 of a full-time thesis-based Master’s degree program in a university in Nova Scotia or Prince Edward Island.

The applicant must also:

  • Be engaged in research activities related to patient-oriented research.
  • Be supervised by a MSSU Associate Scientist.
  • Have achieved a first-class average in the last two years of fulltime study.
  • Be in good standing for enrollment in the upcoming school year.
  • Not be employed full-time.

Funding Amount and Duration

Funding is issued to recipients in the following amounts:

  • Master’s Level – up to $10,000/ year, renewable for 1 year
  • Doctorate Level – up to $15,000/ year, renewable for up to 3 years

Students will be eligible to receive MSSU Student Award funding as outlined below:

Award/ Degree Level

Enrollment Status at Time of Application

Maximum Eligible Funding Available

Master’s Award

Applied to/ Accepted in program

$10,000/ year for 2 years

In Year 1 of program

$10,000/ year for 1 year

In Year 2 of program or later

Ineligible to apply

Doctoral Award

Applied to/ Accepted in program

$15,000/ year for 4 years

In Year 1 of program

$15,000/ year for 3 years

In Year 2 of program

$15,000/ year for 2 years

In Year 3 of program

$15,000/ year for 1 year

In Year 4 of program or later

Ineligible to apply



Funding Caps

A student’s total funding from all funding sources may not exceed the annual cap established by their institution:

It is the responsibility of the student to notify their institution of all funding received. A MSSU Student Award recipient who holds funding that exceeds the institutional funding cap, will be named an Honourary MSSU Student Award recipient (i.e. no funding will be issued).

Dates and Deadlines

Application Criteria Available: February 19, 2019
Application Deadline: April 17, 2019 2:00 p.m. AT
Results Available: June 2019

Funds Available: September 2019


Application Process

Step 1:
Confirm Eligibility

Consider whether you meet the eligibility criteria (outlined above). If applicants have any questions related to their eligibility, they are encouraged to contact their institution.

Step 2:
Review Application Requirements

Be sure to carefully review all application requirements, as outlined in the document below:

Note: You are required to submit two letters of reference and all academic transcripts. Please ensure you arrange for these documents well in advance of the application deadline.

Step 3:
Register in the Grants Management System (GMS)

Applications must be submitted online through the Grants Management System (GMS).

Please visit and click "sign up here" to create an account.

Step 4: Ensure Letters of Reference are Submitted

Ensure your academic and leadership letters have been submitted by the referees to Trish Cormier, Corporate Assistant ( prior to the application deadline. Letters provided via the applicant will not be accepted. (This is the only component of the application completed outside of the Grants Management System.)

Step 5: Complete Application

To apply, login to GMS to access the application, where information will be either entered directly into GMS or uploaded as PDF documents.

Be sure to refer to the Application Requirements (See Step 2) for detailed instructions.

Review Process

  1. Applications will be reviewed to determine whether they are complete and meet the eligibility criteria.
  2. Complete and eligible applications will be reviewed by the MSSU Student Award Peer Review Committee in accordance with their review practices and the assessment criteria outlined below.
  3. The Committee will submit to the MSSU a list of applicants recommended for funding and a list of alternates, if applicable.
  4. Applicants will be notified of funding decisions and the process for award acceptance and payment for funding recipients will be implemented.

Assessment Criteria

The following criteria will be used to assess MSSU Student Award applications:                                           


Weighting Master's

Weighting PhD

Academic Excellence

  • Strength of academic record
  • Quality of academic abilities outlined in academic reference letter
  • Funding, duration and prestige of received scholarships and awards
  • Clarity of explanation for any academic interruptions and delays



Leadership Qualities

  • Extent to which past and current employment, volunteer, extracurricular experiences and research contributions demonstrate leadership skills
  • Quality and potential impact of leadership abilities outlined in leadership reference letter
  • Relevance of future plans to career in health research



Research Potential

  • Relevance of academic training and work experience to research activity
  • Funding, duration and prestige of received scholarships and awards
  • Quality and extent of contribution to research activity
  • Quality and potential impact of research abilities outlined in academic reference letter
  • Demonstrated understanding of patient-oriented research methods and approaches (patients are highly engaged in project design, development, analysis etc.).
  • Potential for impact of research activity on the health of Nova Scotians/ Prince Edward Islanders, and the economy, clinical practice, health policy and/or health services in Nova Scotia/ Prince Edward Island. 



Resources and Assistance

Application Support

Applicants should contact their institution well in advance of the application deadline with questions related to eligibility:

Institutional Contacts
Acadia University

Theresa Starratt
Graduate Studies Officer

Cape Breton University

Zuzana Ištvanková
Research Administration Officer: Major Initiatives
Scholarships Liaison Officer

Dalhousie University Courtney Collins
Scholarships Liaison Officer
Mount Saint Vincent University Cathy Lantos
Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Graduate Studies
Saint Mary’s University Heather Taylor
Graduate Studies Officer
St. Francis Xavier University

Marie Gillis
Research Administrative Coordinator
Research Services Group

University of Prince Edward Island


Leslie Power
Manager, Research Programs
Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation



Grants Management System (GMS) Support 

Please click here to download a step by step guide for applicants outlining how to navigate the Grants Management System. 

For technical questions regarding the GMS (including password resets, system navigation), contact the NSHRF Helpdesk at 902-424-4043 or

Please allow 1-2 business days for a response.

Canadian Common CV (CCV) Support

Looking for your CCV/NSHRF PIN? Your PIN is the email address you used to register with GMS. 

Please click here to download a step by step guide for validating your PIN and submitting your CCV. 

For technical questions regarding the CCV (including password and account resets, PINs, CCV submission, etc.), contact the CCV Centralized Helpdesk at 1-888-603-4178 or